Using an Interdental Brush for Braces: A Guide to Brush Sizes, Cleaning, and Care

More than 4 million people wear braces worldwide, and 25% are adults in the United States. Given how common this orthodontic treatment is, it is crucial to know how to clean and maintain this dental appliance. Many people with braces find it hard to remove the food debris around their teeth, brackets, and wires. 

In this article, you will learn about the importance of keeping your teeth and braces clean. Find out how an interdental brush can benefit you, and discover what brush size is right for you.

Importance of Proper Oral Care During Orthodontic Treatment

Despite how valuable braces are for those with crooked teeth, uneven bites, overbites, and underbites, wearing them can make dental care slightly more complicated. Braces are wire-based orthodontic appliances used to correct misaligned teeth or jaws. Food and other debris can often get stuck between the bracket and wires, leading to plaque buildup and oral infections if left untreated.

The American Association of Orthodontics (AAO) states that cooperation between patients and dentists is vital for maximizing the benefits of wearing braces. Those with the dental appliance can help ensure the success of this orthodontic treatment by limiting sugary drinks, visiting the dentist every 3 to 6 months, and keeping their teeth clean.

Using a regular toothbrush, however, is often not enough for those undergoing this orthodontic treatment. To prevent teeth and gum infection, people with braces should consider using an interdental brush as part of their daily oral health routine.

What Is an Interdental Brush?

An interdental brush is a small brush designed to clean the spaces between teeth that a traditional toothbrush cannot reach. Although there are many ways to use an interdental brush, it is especially beneficial for people with braces and other orthodontic treatment appliances. 

There are various types of interdental brushes that come in assorted sizes to fit different-sized gaps between teeth. Typically, an interdental brush has a filament held in place by a metal wire that can be angled or bent, making it easier to maneuver around brackets and wires. Some interdental brushes are disposable, while others have handles for long-term use but would need replacement brush heads.

How to Choose the Interdental Brush Size That Is Best for You

Different Interdental Brush Sizes

“What is the best interdental brush size to use for braces?” This question is important to ask before you rush out and buy one for yourself. The ideal interdental brush should fit comfortably between the gaps of your teeth. If the size is too small, the bristles won’t clean effectively. When the brush size is too big, you may end up damaging your teeth and gums.

According to, there is an ISO sizing standard for numbering interdental brushes from 0 to 8 (ranging from 0.4 mm to 1.5 mm). However, not all manufacturers follow this. Different types of interdental brushes are typically color-coded to make it easier to tell sizes apart.

Suppose you’re looking for the best interdental brush size for braces. DentistryIQ cites that the medium-sized brushes may be the most suitable for cleaning under the orthodontic wire and around brackets. For more help choosing the interdental brush size for your specific needs, reach out to your dentist. They will typically measure the spaces between your teeth and advise you on which brush size to use.

Another good option is using an angled brush. People with braces may find these interdental brushes to be simpler to use because these typically have longer handles, making them easier to grip, and pre-angled heads that provide better access to the back of the mouth.

How to Use an Interdental Brush for Cleaning Teeth and Braces

Now that you understand the answer to “what is the best interdental brush size to use for braces?” your next move is to learn how to use one safely and effectively. Here are a few tips to follow as you use your interdental brush for the first time:

  1. Gently place the interdental brush into the space between your teeth.
  2. Twist the brush slightly as you press it in for easier insertion.
  3. Brush backward and forward several times. (Ask for your dentist’s advice on how many strokes to do.)
  4. Remove the brush and move onto the next gap.
  5. When your brush breaks or gets worn out, discard it and use a brand-new one.

Keep Your Teeth and Braces Clean With an Interdental Brush!

Understanding how to choose the right interdental brush size for braces is important to stay on top of your oral health. Now that you’re equipped with this information, it’s time to take the next step and get yourself a quality interdental brush, such as the one offered by PRO-SYS

Designed for narrow spaces and gentle on the gums, this interdental brush can be the ideal addition to your daily dental care routine while you’re undergoing orthodontic treatment. Take charge of your oral health with our dentist-recommended products!

Wearing braces can turn your daily oral care routine into a chore. Make it easier. Read this guide on choosing the right interdental brush size for proper cleaning.

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